My blog contains a large number of posts. A few are included in various other publications, or as attached stories and chronicles in my emails; many more are found on loose leaves, while some are written carelessly in margins and blank spaces of my notebooks. Of the last sort most are nonsense, now often unintelligible even when legible, or half-remembered fragments. Enjoy responsibly.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Entry for August 30, 2007

Celebrity, political, sport scandals seem to be all of the headlines lately and I feel the need to explain a few things to all of you out there who don’t understand how these things can happen to these people. Now I know, if anyone should know should know how far they can fall you would think it would be people in high places; yet time and again they plummet. Whether it’s Michael Vick, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Swaggart, or the recent hilarity of the soon to be ex-Senator Daniel Craig, they all seem to not know any better.

So lets back up a bit and ask ourselves what leads a person under intense public scrutiny to imagine that they can get away with unacceptable behavior?

This is actually quite easy. As public figures rise in power, influence, and fame people who want to share in that spotlight may help them around the rules that govern all of our daily lives. Or to put it simply, these people who surround the rich, powerful, and famous tell them that they are special. They give them everything, whenever they ask for it. So eventually they break the rules because the rules just aren’t there for them anymore. Psychiatrists call the process leading up to this belief “acquired narcissism”.

It happens when someone gradually starts believing that they are not like everyone else. This can be more pronounced in politicians because they believe that since they serve the public, have given countless time, hours, years of their lives, they now deserve a break when it comes to their comfort and desires.

To make matters worse, our whole society reinforces this. We learn not to challenge our bosses, even when we think that they are doing something wrong because we fear being punished or cut out of the rewards. We are all guilty of reinforcing bad behavior, which, when compounded on the same person over time, will almost always lead to them believing that they are special. From children to the President, everyone can be convinced by the people around them that the rules don’t apply to them. And as long as those people around them keep their actions quiet, they are right.

So special people do play by special rules and don’t expect to be caught, until they actually are. At which time they find out that no one is that special and that we all must live in the same world and play by the same rules. Moral of the story: always consider yourself special enough to think that you are one in a million, because with 6.75 Trillion people on Earth it means there are almost 7,000 other people just as special as you. That’s just special enough to feel good about yourself, but not arrogant enough to believe your own hype.

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